Stillwater, MN – Postural Restoration – Course Review

Written By: Louise Kelley

Debbie Jung, PT, has been around PRI for a long time.  So, she jumped on her co-workers’ desire to understand and integrate the Postural Restoration approach into their practice.  Many thanks to Debbie, and to Russ Davies, Bob Fleischman, and Ryan Maxwell, all of Fluid Health and Fitness Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Center, for bringing the recent Postural Respiration course to Stillwater, MN.

Weekend discussions revolved around these key concepts:

– Movement of air into and out of an accommodating chest wall, a requirement for pressure regulation and how a person responds to gravity and navigates the space around them.

– Polyarticular chains of muscles: their purpose and propensity for over-activity.   How do they become overactive?  What movement conundrums and pathologies result from this over-activity?

– Dissecting the elements of proper air flow.  This can’t occur without the hemi-diaphragm zone of apposition, its state of rest which preserves the diaphragm’s dual roles of posture and respiration.  The oft-misunderstood “diaphragmatic” or “belly” breathing merely leads to hyperinflation and a whole host of physiologic and psychologic issues.

– Compression and decompression of the thorax, and how this creates loading and unloading of alternating sides of the body for optimal movement in any direction the owner of the thorax wishes to go.

Attendees learned the how and why of non-manual techniques, unique to PRI, that establish new, healthier patterns of movement.  We also introduced manual rib cage techniques, which brought to life the concepts of patterned air flow presented in the first half of day one.  These techniques provided the attendee, both as a giver and a receiver, with a tactile sensory experience that added further depth and meaning to didactic concepts.  Manual techniques not in your scope of care?  No problem.  Many non-manual techniques mimic the effect of manual techniques.

This course provides a clear algorithm to guide treatment decisions, applied in lab, as attendees acted as their partner’s “patient” for the weekend.  We then discussed a real-life case study to further imprint the decision-making process and answer questions such as: When do you emphasize the left low trap and serratus versus right low trap and tricep? Do you add new techniques at every session?  When is my patient in need of manual techniques?

I am very appreciative of all of the questions, comments, and requests for review.  I am so thankful to those willing to come to the front of the class so others could learn:  Russ Davies, Jessica Fee, Matt Gram, Edward Leitze, Lindsey Scott, and Samantha Zawistowski.

It’s not every day you meet someone who owns both a health and fitness clinic and a Great Harvest Bakery.  Thank you, Bob Fleischman, who wears the two hats of clinician and culinarian, for treating us to fresh-baked scones and cookies throughout the weekend!

Thank you Sid Rivera, PT, PRC, for your clinical wisdom, guidance in lab, and  lunchtime companionship.  You are a wonderful resource for these Minnesota practitioners!

It was fun spending the weekend with all of you, hearing your ah-ha moments and expressions of confidence in techniques and desire to learn more.